Tag: paper craft

Home Made Cards using the Cricut Explore

So I’m not very good with remembering to buy cards for people. Their birthdays are in my Filofax and on my Google calendar, but that’s no guarantee. In theory, I’d either buy them online from an independent maker on Folksy or Etsy or I’d be organised enough to have a card making session, sourcing beautiful card and vintage paper, and have a supply of cards suitable for any occasion. However, neither of these have happened yet and recently, I’ve needed a couple of cards in a pinch. Fortunately, I have a wonderful (c/o) Cricut Explore to hand and this makes cardmaking super quick. Thank goodness!

I needed three cards: A birthday card for my sister (who should’ve been in Canada but came home early), a new baby card (for an early arrival) and a belated thank you card. I always have a supply of cards and various papers, and I saw this post over on A Beautiful Mess and thought it was such a great idea, it could easily work with cards.

Happy Birthday card

New Baby card

Thank You card

The birthday card was for my sister has spent most of the last year in Canada. I printed off a map of Banff National Park, where she was throughout winter and trimmed it to size. I hopped onto the Cricut Design Room and typed up the words that I wanted cut. I love how easy the design room is to navigate and that you can save everything for future use. It was a little bit fiddly, but to be honest, I was in my element, cutting and sticking the old fashioned way!

I never know what to buy for a new baby. I’m not a fan of the stereotypical blue for boys and pink for girls, especially as my favourite colour is blue! So I reused this lovely yellow paper bag as the background and cut out New Baby on the Cricut Explore. For the Thank You card, I was also testing the Explore as I wanted to use this very delicate wrapping paper. It cut it really well and it didn’t rip, which I was really pleased with. Then I used washi tape to make sure that the letters were straight when I stuck them on. Next time I make some cards, I’m going to add some embellishments and jazz them up a bit more. I think I need to look on Pinterest a bit for some ideas. And plan in advance. That would most definitely help!

I know these are just basic projects and that the Cricut Explore has way more possibilities – I’m just trying to pin down some ideas in my head before I test them out! And I could do with a week of just crafting and nothing else! How about you? What have you made lately?

Disclosure: I was sent the Cricut Explore to review, but all views are my own, honest opinions. For more information, see my Disclosure page.

#Exploretheseasons with the new Cricut Explore

Yesterday I had the pleasure of spending the day in a lovely part of London at the launch of the new Cricut Explore. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the walk from the tube was lovely and the view from the building was breathtaking.

The View

After a minute or two to catch my breath (I was late thanks to the Tube taking forever. Very glad my daily commute involves walking downstairs in my slippers!) it was on to the presentation. The CEO, Ashish Arora, spoke about the thinking behind the new Cricut Explore. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I want to make something but I’m not the neatest cutter, especially if something is a little fiddly. Well, the Cricut Explore will cut just about any material you’ll need, from tracing paper all the way through to denim and leather. These butterflies below show (and I couldn’t get them all in the picture) the huge range of materials you can cut with the new Explore.

Fabric Butterflies

Not only that, but it’s really simple to change the cut setting on the Explore. You simply turn a dial to choose your material, which is much easier than it’s been before. Not only that, but if you want to design your own project and cut it, you can with the new Design Room. You can save your project, just like all the other projects that are all there ready for you to make. There were lots of examples all around the room of the kind of things you could make, including a beautiful dress.

Tshirt Design


Cricut Fox Cushion

By the beach

Butterfly Dress

After the presentation, which included unpacking the Explore (which was pretty exciting!), meeting American bloggers Vintage Revivals and The TomKat Studio and more inspiration from Ashish, we were able to have a go ourselves. I’ve only used a Cricut Mini before and it’s pretty safe to say that my mind exploded. We were given plain tote bags to jazz up however we wanted to. I wanted a lightening bolt type design and a quick search of images threw up a lovely cloud and lightning. I cut out two layers of glitter iron on transfer. It took less than 5 minutes to cut and about a similar amount of time to iron on.

Cloud Tote

I’m pretty impressed with it and am seriously thinking about a few t-shirt designs. There’s so much you can do with the Explore – the whole day, my mind was whirling with ideas. But there was more! Lots and lots of great food, including humungous cupcakes, and manicurists who gave my nails a lovely coat of bright red polish.

Giant Cupcakes

It was such a brilliant and inspirational day. I can’t wait to get my hands on the Explore and get my make on!

Huge thank you to everyone who made the day so much fun! I

#BEDN ~ Something I Made

I love it when a blog post stems from a very easy craft project and am doubly pleased that this one also fits in with my #BEDN post for today, which is Something I Made. I recently inherited quite an amazing stamp collection, full of brightly coloured stamps of all sizes. I knew that I’d enjoy using them to make something lovely and this week I used them to make a congratulations card, along with my Cricut Mini and an old OS map, bought from Oxfam for £2. Not a bad bit of upcycling!

stampsI knew I wanted to do a bunting style, but not too cutesy, as the intended recipient was a man. So I cut a small triangle into the bottom of a few stamps and stuck them on the card in the shape of bunting. I then used some patterned scissors to cut away the edge of the card and stuck some washi tape on the inside of the card to show through the shaped edging. Finally, I used my Cricut Mini to cut out ‘Congratulations’ on the OS map and stuck it beneath the bunting. I’m pretty happy with it, though I think the ‘Congratulations’ could be bigger so I’ll do a bit more experimenting with sizes.

congratulations cardI also made a picture gallery in my study, with the help of my OH, though that’s another post for another day! How about you? Did you make anything today?



Getting Started with a Cricut Mini

A little while ago, the lovely people over at Cricut* sent me a Cricut Mini. I’d never used one before so it’s taken a while to get going with it. I finally sat down and had a little play with over the weekend. It’s going to take me a few more practise sessions before I’m fully confident with it, but it has triggered something creative in my head and it’s bursting with ideas! I had no idea something like this existed but I’m glad it is. The potential is huge, whether you’re into card making, like me, scrapbooking, different forms of paper craft or just want to pimp up a few other projects. This machine can let you do that.

Getting started

It’s fairly straight forward to use. You have to be a member of the craft room and download software on to your PC or Mac. I use a Mac and had no problems. You can buy different ‘cartridges’, which provide you with different fonts, images and phrases and there are lots of projects online & on Pinterest. Some come with project files to help you out (though I couldn’t get the files to open on my Mac, but will have a look in the forum & consult my IT department!)

Cricut cut outsI spent hours simply looking through the different images, slogans and fonts available. I had a go at cutting some out and thinking about how they could be used. I don’t scrapbook, but can see how this would be really useful if you did. It came with a few sheets of paper, which stick to a cutting mat. You can design something to be cut out or cut something that needs further assembly. I’ve got lots & lots of paper in my cupboards so I’m going to experiment some more & maybe make some cards. I’m not sure how well the different types of paper will cut, but I’ll find out & report back!

Something I madeThe cutter comes with a practise project, which I did (see Thank You card below). It was fairly simple & a great introduction into what the machine can do. However, in all the instructions it said to set the cutter to 4, but this made the cutter rip the paper, so I changed it 3 and it worked a treat.

Practice projectThere are lots of video tutorials on YouTube, which I’m going to have to watch, as I’m still not quite sure how it all works! I would prefer written tutorials or have the option of choosing a written tutorial, as that’s how I learn, so if you know of any bloggers out there who have useful tutorials on using a Cricut, then please let me know! Or if you have any tips on what paper to use, where to get it etc I’d love to know. I can see a lot Cricuting in my future!

*Although the Cricut was sent to me free of charge, my review of the Cricut & online guides will be my honest opinion.